Project Management Practices of the Case Study

Excerpt from Case Study :

Starting with the pre-contractual phase, which was for the most part skipped as the EDS teams focused primarily on technologies first, the project lacked the necessary foundation to succeed from a planning standpoint. Focusing on the pre-contractual phase could have also helped to have more clearly defined the SLAs and metrics used for managing the project over the long-term as well (Cross, 2007). With 23 SLAs and 51 metrics, the challenge was one of just having enough time to track the many aspects of reporting needed to fulfill contractual obligations. Lastly, having a more complete pre-contractual phase, there could have been more time to define and execute change management initiatives and programs as well. The lack of phased approach also significantly slowed down the development of the project, with Phase 1, 2 And 3 as defined in the project being more focused on network infrastructure, system-wide connectivity and finally user adoption than on generating a suitable and scalable change management plan of action (Cross, 2007).

Budgeting became a barometer of how ineffective the entire project was beginning run quickly as the costs escalated out of control and multiple extensions were asked for both from the Department of Defense and Congress (Dignan, 2004). One of the primary factors behind the budget escalating to such a large extent was the insistence by EDS of consolidating many Communities Of Interest (COI) into one single, contiguous project overall (Rosencrance, 2006). This one-size-fits all approach to managing the project quickly led to cost over-runs, setting the foundation for so much overspending that Congress eventually got involved and changed the leadership of the project from the U.S. Navy perspective (Cross, 2007). Figure 2 provides an analysis of the NMCI Contract Minimums After Extension through FY 2007.

Figure 2:

NMCI Budget Minimums and Extensions

Source: (Cross, 2007)

The project failed to attain its objectives due to EDS not realizing that a more segmented, incremental approach was needed. Instead of attempting to take on the entire project at once, EDS needed to plan out a more realistic strategy of involving third-party contractors to alleviate the strain on their own resources. Third-party contractors could have also enabled the company to better deal with the many change management problems that quickly arose due to the oversight during initial planning sessions. Having contractors assigned specifically to legacy systems integration and support could have also drastically reduced the costs and time involved in ensuring all systems, from a user standpoint, could function with each other. Finally, taking a more phased approach to creating the entire NMCI would have quickly shown that the SLAs were incredibly unrealistic and not scalable over the duration of the project's broad scope. The breadth and depth of the SLAs are shown in Figure 3, Service Level Agreement Guarantees..

Figure 3: Service Level Performance Guarantees Source: (Cross, 2007)

In conclusion, EDS really did make several strategic errors on this project, they were not fabricated by the media. When the Congress gets involved and replaces the leader of a project in trouble with e-Read Admiral, things are pretty bad (Cross, 2007). It was no media fabrication, the problems really were that bad.

Recommendations

There are many recommendations to EDS and the U.S. Navy surrounding this project, the foremost being to create a more phased, multi-vendor strategy that takes into account change management first. Second, designing systems to allow for greater integration from the outset could have been achieved through the use of several Intranets, grouping common users by their needs. This would have been much more effective than taking the en masse approach EDS tried.

References:

Navy Marine Corps Intranet may never achieve goals: GAO. (2006, December). Aerospace Daily & Defense Report, 220(53), 2.

Baca, C.. (2007, October). Project Manager! Who? Me? Machine Design, 79(20), 64,66,68.

Cross, T.. (2 October 2007). Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI): 2007 Update. Darden Business Publishing Case Collection: UVA-C-2270: Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI): 2007 Update,1-7.

Larry Dignan. (2004, September). How to Interpret Mumbo Jumbo; It's a game we all must play. The…

Sources Used in Documents:

References:

Navy Marine Corps Intranet may never achieve goals: GAO. (2006, December). Aerospace Daily & Defense Report, 220(53), 2.

Baca, C.. (2007, October). Project Manager! Who? Me? Machine Design, 79(20), 64,66,68.

Cross, T.. (2 October 2007). Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI): 2007 Update. Darden Business Publishing Case Collection: UVA-C-2270: Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI): 2007 Update,1-7.

Larry Dignan. (2004, September). How to Interpret Mumbo Jumbo; It's a game we all must play. The answers could save your project - or your career. Baseline, 1(34), 26.

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